SEMA – it stands for Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association – is the Oscars of the automotive world. From its founding as a display of speed parts in the late 1940s, SEMA has ballooned to become the world’s largest trade show of any kind. The automotive aftermarket uses it as the venue for unveiling tons – literally – of performance and dress-up parts every year, and the automakers enthusiastically follow suit, presenting design studies or actual new models that can serve as blank canvasses for the proper positioning of all those new goodies. This year, Chevrolet will roll out its 2021 Colorado midsize pickup in a series of events next month that will climax with the SEMA show in Las Vegas.
Like some other vehicles in its category, the Colorado is presenting more in-your-face visuals to do battle in the middle-sized pickup wars against the likes of the revived Ford Ranger and Jeep Gladiator. All versions of the truck will get revised center grille bars and bowtie emblem, while the tailgates will have “CHEVROLET” stamped into the outer sheetmetal rather than the previous bowties. The WT, LT and Z71 Colorado trucks will make their first appearance as this is published, at the Method Racing Wheels Laughlin Desert Classic off-road race. The performance off-road ZR2 variant, which makes its official debut at SEMA, will have a distinctive “Chevrolet” front fascia, plus position-sensitive shock absorbers, front and rear locking differentials, a two-inch suspension lift, a 3.5-inch wider track, and new this year, tow hooks. All Colorado models are assembled at General Motors’ plant in Wentzville, Missouri.